Baptism is important. The act of baptism is unfortunately a confusing thing in our day. Revive offers a Baptism Class to all people who have recently become Christians, Christians who have been sprinkled as infants or have never been baptized, and those who are curious as to what baptism means. This class is designed to bring clarity to what baptism is about and its meaning in the Christian’s life.
Baptism is commanded by Jesus. Believers do not have an option about whether to be baptized or not. Baptism is an outward expression of an inward work of God. This salvation and inward change must be proclaimed publicly as Jesus and His disciples did.
Below are some answers to common questions about baptism.
Can you go to heaven by being baptized?
People are saved (and get to go to heaven) by believing that Jesus is the Christ, repenting of their sin and putting their faith in Him alone. This is seen by the thief on the cross who was never baptized but brought into Christ’s kingdom the same day he died (Luke 23:43). Conversely, baptism without believing in Jesus and repenting cannot save anyone’s soul either. Baptism has no power to save. However, salvation (being saved) and baptism are always tied together and go hand in hand.
What is baptism?
The process of baptism is very simple. You begin by standing, sitting, or kneeling in some water. Another Christian (preferably the Christan leader of the believer’s faith community or church) then lowers you under the water and brings you back up out of the water. You could also literally call this “immersion.”
Because some churches sprinkle water on babies or adults instead of immersing them, the obvious question is whether this is OK. Since the only legitimate answer comes from the Bible, that is where we must look for God's view and the early churches view of what a 'baptism' was. It is interesting that nowhere in the Bible does anything but “immersion” take place. That is, baptism is always by immersion.
This makes sense if you realize that “baptize” is a transliteration of the original Greek word baptizo. In turn, baptizo comes from the root word bapto, a term used in the first century for immersing a garment first into bleach and then into dye, both cleansing and changing the color of the cloth. (Note its similarity to baptism’s cleansing of sin and becoming a new person through Christ.) Stated another way, when you process cloth to change its color, you are said to “baptize” it. If sprinkling of any kind was to be practiced, a different Greek word would have been used, but it was not.
When should someone be baptized?
Acts chapter 2, verse 41 (Acts 2:41) – 3,000 people were baptized after believing on the first day of the Christian church. Verses 38 and 39 make it clear that people who accept Christ as their Savior will be baptized soon after their belief.
Acts 8:26-39 – Philip meets the Ethiopian on the road and witnesses to him about Jesus. We know where this road from Jerusalem to Gaza is. Verse 26 terms it a “desert.” The only water there was oasis water. This means that the eunuch and Philip climbed down into the people’s drinking water to do this. Apparently, Philip and the eunuch did not think it could wait until later! (You will also notice they did not take a handful of water and “sprinkle” the eunuch to keep things sanitary, either.) The Bible states that all Philip did was “preach Jesus to him” (verse 35) and then the eunuch said that he wanted to be baptized (verse 36). This means that the preaching of Jesus includes preaching and the need to be baptized.
Acts 9:18 – after this encounter with Jesus on the Damascus road, Saul (later renamed Paul) decided to accept Jesus—and was baptized.
Acts 10:47,48 – Cornelius and those with him were commanded to be baptized, becoming the first non-Jewish converts to Christianity.
Acts 16:13-15 – Lydia and her household “believed” and were baptized.
Acts 16:16-34 – The Philippian jailer “believed” with his household and they were baptized—and this was in the middle of the night!
On top of all these references, when Jesus left the earth He told his followers to make disciples by baptizing and teaching believers (Matthew 28:16-20). Believing, getting baptized and being taught are commands for every follower of Jesus.
Find out about Baptism!
Upcoming Baptism Class
Baptism classes are given as interest lists fill up. To sign up use the Contact form.